Remarks to the Press by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia after Security Council consultations on Libya
A.: We had an open briefing with participation of SRSG Ghassan Salame followed by closed consultations. I think the Council demonstrated quite a big degree of unity on Libya. Everybody agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict. The parties should stop hostilities as soon as possible, announce cease-fire and return to the political negotiations under UN auspices to which G.Salame is always ready and he works tirelessly to make it happen. We did not need to convince ourselves - the situation itself proves that there is no military solution. We all agreed on that. We believe that there is a strong need to observe arms embargo imposed by the UNSC resolutions. We supported the three-point plan proposed by G.Salame who is trying to restart the process. We decided to continue to be fully updated about the situation. We also stressed that relevant regional organizations could contribute to the political settlement which is led by the UN.
Q.: Ambassador, G.Salame asks for support of the Council on different points; one of them – to expand the mandate of the mission, the second one – to condemn attacks on airports. He also expressed intention to call for an international support group. How were these points received in the Council?
A.: They were received positively. We will be having the resolution on Libya , on UNSMIL, adopted soon. I am not very well sure that we would be able to address this issue in full in a short time. But, of course, the message of G.Salame was heard. We will be taking it into account, given his own assessment that at this time the mandate of the mission does not allow it to fulfill all duties that we want it to implement.
Q.: Does Russian support that?
A.: We have to see in what form we can strengthen the mission in order to make it fulfill its duties more effectively.
Q.: So what is the next step that G.Salame is going to take?
A.: He was speaking about an international conference, another one, that would send a signal to the Libyan parties yet again that the agreements and understanding that had been reached at many venues should be observed. And that they should seriously engage in the political settlement. There still exists place for political settlement. Of course, in the recent few months the situation has made the overall atmosphere not very conducive. However, we have to restore this atmosphere in order to be able to engage in political process.
Q.: Do you have any timetables on when it should happen?
A.: We did not discuss timetables yet.
Q.: I mean would the idea be that this should happen sooner rather than later?
A.: As soon as possible.
Q.: On arms embargo. Ghassan Salame said openly that the arms embargo basically is not functioning at all. Do you think this will be addressed in the upcoming resolution this month? What is your national position on that?
A.: Our national position is clear. We said in the Council that the arms embargo should be observed in full by all parties, including external parties.
Q.: Do you think the resolution will address that?
A.: I have to see it in the resolution. Anyway, it is already enshrined in Security Council resolutions that are still valid.
Q.: A strange question. At the beginning you made comments about the unity of the Council. Was that an agreed statement of the Council or rather your assessment?
A.: We had an idea, and we attempted press elements, but I sensed that there was no point to go deep into discussing them and try to fine-tune things that we all agree upon. I basically retold you all the press elements that we discussed. There was no major disagreement on it.
Q.: Ambassador, regarding the accusations of Russia hitting the Northeast of Syria, I mean the new Inquiry Board. When is Russia going to present its own data?
A.: We will do it soon. You will be informed in advance.
Q.: French draft statement on Lebanon-Israel – we heard that silence was broken again.
A.: Not by us.
Q.: Of course, but can you give us an update?
A.: The silence was broken. I am not sure what will happen next. Time has already passed, and at some point it might become, you know, untimely.